This page is dedicated to remembering Philippine Scouts who have passed away during the last year. We welcome short remembrance paragraphs on recently-deceased Scouts.
Memorial Day 2013: Remembering the WW2 Philippine Scouts
In Memoriam 2012-2013
In Memoriam 2011-2012
Floriano R. Castaneda, Sr.
Floriano R. Castaneda, Sr. passed away Sept. 6, 2009. He served with the 3rd Bn., 45th Infantry (PS) during the Bataan Campaign, participated in the Death March and was a POW at Camp O’Donnell, Capas, Tarlac, Philippines. During his military service he was awarded two bronze stars. Floriano was retired in Kanoehe, Hawaii at the time of his death.
Lorie Cabiao was born on May 3, 1922 in Camiling, Tarlac, Philippines and passed away August 29, 2009 in Lacey, WA.
Lorie was a devoted family man and enjoyed traveling especially to Hawaii, gardening and raising various animals. As a young man, he fought in World War II as a Philippine Scout in the 26th Cavalry (PS), and was a POW in Bataan. He later joined the US Army, fought in the Korean War and retired after 21 years. After retirement, he was a chef at the Olympia Oyster House for many years.
He is survived by his wife of 64 years Alejandra Cabiao; daughters Gloria Talvo (JG), Eleanor Cabiao and Lerma Cabiao; son Jay Cabiao(Tracey); and many grandchildren.
MSgt. Martin Andora
MSgt. Martin Andora, a member of Monterey Chapter of the Philippine Scouts Heritage Society, died at home in Seaside, California following a long battle with cancer on July 1, 2009. He was 92. During WWII, Martin was a Philippine Scout artilleryman, who was taken prisoner on Corregidor after the surrender in early May, 1942. He survived POW camp and remained in the U.S. Army, later serving in the Korean War. He was survived by his wife, Aurora, six children, 12 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.
MSGT. Ret. Lauro (Larry) Villagracia, Sr. (8/18/1918 - 5/9/2009)
Retired Philippine Scout MSgt. Lauro Villagracia, Sr. was born in Lubang, Occidental Mindoro, Philippines. He served in the 91st Coast Artillery (PS) during WWII and was a POW at Camp O'Donnell. Upon his release, he returned to Lubang and joined the guerrilla resistance. During his 23 year military career, he was a highly decorated veteran of two wars. After retirement from the military, he spent 21 years as an employee of AAFES ( Army Air Force Exchange Services) where he retired as a warehouse manager.
He was a life member of the Philippine Scouts Heritage Society, VFW and AEX- POW. Larry is survived by his wife of 68 years and six children, 15 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.
Mario D. Cid
Mario D. Cid passed away in San Francisco on February 13, 2009. Survived by Hortensia, his wife of 50 years; three children and three grandchildren. A Sergeant in the Philippine Scouts, 14th Engineers (PS), he helped defend Bataan and then escaped from the Death March. Mario also was a US Army Veteran of the Korean War. He enjoyed a long career as a mechanical engineer at Southern Pacific Railroad. Long active in the Catholic Church, he was a founder of the Filipino Catholic Association of San Francisco at St. Dominic's Church. He also was an enthusiastic orchid raiser, expert cook favoring Filipino cuisine, and enthusiastic supporter of all Bay Area sport teams, especially the San Francisco Giants.
Nick Lozada, 3rd Bn., 45th Infantry (PS) died on 3/6/09 in American Canyon, CA at 89. During his WWII service, Nick survived the Pantigan River bed massacre during the surrender on Bataan. He is survived by his wife.
Long-time Monterey Chapter President Greg Ramos passed away on February 20, 2009, two months short of his 90th birthday and after a long bout with cancer. Greg enlisted in the 88th Field Artillery (PS) in 1940 and fought during the early months of WWII. After the surrender he was imprisoned at Camp O’Donnell for several months. Upon his release, he joined the guerrillas resisting the Japanese occupation. Following liberation of the Philippines, he remained in the U.S. Army and took out American citizenship. In 1964 he retired and joined the Civil Service until a second retirement in 1981. He is survived by his wife Conchita, four children by his long deceased first wife and numerous grandchildren.
Benigo G. Tabora
Benigo G. Tabora, 91, died in December, 2008, in Acton, Massachusetts. He joined the Philippine Scouts in 1936, was captured on Bataan, survived the Death March and POW camp, and then joined the guerrillas. Following WWII, he served in Korea and retired as a Sgt Major in 1968. He was survived by his wife, Mae, and several children.
Dr. Howard William Friedman
Dr. Howard William Friedman, a San Francisco dentist who was attached to the 45th Infantry (PS), survived the Bataan Death March and served as a doctor in prisoner-of-war camps in Japan, died on 12/8/08 aged 92.
Dr. Friedman enlisted in the Army, serving as a medical officer with the dental corps. While serving with the 45th Infantry (PS), his unit saw heavy fighting, and he was awarded the Purple Heart after he was wounded near Manila during the early days of WWII.
On April 9, 1942, his unit was one of many under American commanders who surrendered and were forced into the 65-mile death march, which began at the Bataan Peninsula and went to San Fernando. It included about 11,700 American and 65,000 Filipino soldiers.
Dr. Friedman served as a camp doctor at POW camps in Osaka, Yokkaichi and Toyama, Japan, until liberation in 1945.
When Dr. Friedman returned home, he was promoted to the rank of major and selected as the representative of the California men freed from Japanese prison camps. He toured the Western states and was honored in a parade down Market Street in San Francisco.
Following the war, he returned to San Francisco and opened a small dental practice. He is survived by his sister Barbara Dowd Flamm, nephews Russ and Roger Dowd, and niece Bonnie Ferrai.
Joaquin "Jack" Tejada (1923-2008)
Joaquin Taopa Tejada, 85-year-old Filipino WWII veteran and the highly visible equity bill fighter, died quietly in his sleep on Monday, December 1 at his home in Washington, D.C.
Known for his good humor, “Jolly Jack” was a frequent visitor on Capitol Hill, at the VA headquarters and at the White House. He and his comrades, lobbying for Filipino veterans’ rights, wore colorful American flag ties and WWII veterans’ caps as they walked the halls of the U.S. Congress. Jack was also well-known to Capitol Hill and White House police for his being arrested in protests against the lack of progress on the Filipino veterans bill in 1997 and 1998.
In his teens, Jack joined the guerrilla movement when Japanese invaders occupied his Catanduanes hometown in the Philippines. However, he and his comrades were caught one night, tied up and marched for possible execution. Jack escaped in the darkness.
Before the end of WWII, he enlisted as a New Philippine Scout for U.S. Army guard duty in Okinawa and was discharged as a private in 1949. He then enlisted with the Philippine Army.
During the Vietnam War, Jack worked as a civilian "auto tech supervisor" with the US Army Special Forces, fixing their transport and construction equipment near the Ho Chi Minh trail. Jack received a certificate of appreciation from the Green Berets for his courage under fire.
Later in the 1990s, he immigrated to the United States and joined veterans’ advocates on the frontlines in Washington. They fought to restore the full recognition of Filipino soldiers' US military service in WWII and their burial, medical and pension benefits which were stripped by the 1946 "Rescission Acts."
Jack is survived by his widow Epitacia Tejada, 77, two daughters: Patricia H. Tejada, a dentist in Saudi Arabia, and Violeta T. Alejandro, homemaker in Cubao, Philippines, his son Joaquin "Boy" Jr. of North Brunswick, NJ, and seven grandchildren.
Cpl. Joe Estero
Cpl. Joe Estero, a post-WWII Philippine Scout, passed away in Makati a suburb of Manila on 10 August ’08. Joe served in the 45th Inf. (PS) & 44th Inf. (PS). He is survived by his daughter Maria Luisa E. Floreasca, 4376 Montojo Street, Barangay Tejeros, Makati City, Philippines.
Salvador "Sal" A. Abad
Salvador "Sal" A. Abad passed away on December 11 in San Francisco at age 87. A native of Manila, Sal enlisted in the 26th Calvary (PS) on February 3, 1941, and survived combat, the Bataan Death March and incarceration as a POW. He was an active member of the Philippine Scouts Heritage Society and the American Legion’s Ex-POW Luziminda Chapter in San Francisco. Mr. Abad is survived by his wife Gloria, four sons and several grandchildren.
Dominador A. Guevarra
Dominador A. Guevarra, 57th Infantry (PS), passed away on March 6, 2007 aged 88 years. Originally from Capas, Tarlac, he enlisted in the Scouts in February 1941, then survived combat, the Bataan Death March and POW camp. Guevarra immigrated to the U.S. in 1967 and worked as an engineer and was living in Morton Grove, Illinois at his death. He is survived by his wife Luningning, three sons and several grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Dr. Alex Kelly
Dr. Alex Kelly, 90, surgeon for the 57th Infantry (PS), passed away September 22, 2007 in Washington, D.C. He was drafted into the Army Medical Corps in 1941 and sent to the Philippines. He survived the Bataan Death March, POW camp, a Hell Ship and prison in Yokohama and Nagata, Japan. Dr. Kelly, originally from Augusta, Georgia, lived in Bethesda, Maryland for the last 54 years. He is survived by three sons, a sister, a brother and six grandchildren. His wife passed away in 2005.
Felix Peralta, a GGBAC founding member and one-time chapter president, passed away on September 30. Felix enlisted in the Philippine Scouts in 1938 and was a squad leader with the 45th Infantry (PS) during the heavy fighting on Bataan. He survived the Death March and POW camp, where he nearly died of beriberi, dysentery and malaria. Following WWII, he completed his career with the U.S. Army.
Felix’s military decorations include the Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal, Prisoner of War Medal, American Defense Medal [1-star], Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal [3-stars], United Nations Service Medal [3-stars], Philippine Defense Medal [1-star], Presidential Unit Citation [3-Oak clusters], Philippine Presidential Unit Citation and Korean Presidential Unit Citation.
Mr. Peralta is survived by his wife, Lucila.
Eleuterio M. Maquinana
Eleuterio M. Maquinana passed away on September 6, 2007 at the age of 91. Mr. Maquinana enlisted in the U.S. Army's Philippine Scouts in February, 1941 and was discharged in December 1947. During WWII, he fought with Company "L", 57th Infantry (PS) and then survived the Bataan Death March and POW camp. In recent years he lived in Daly City, California, where he belonged to the Golden Gate-Bay Area Chapter of the Philippine Scouts Heritage Society. He is survived by Servilla, his wife for 61 years, and sons Cesar, Rod, Manuel and Victor.
SFC Geoffray Dumaquit
SFC Geoffray Dumaquit, 14th Engineers BN [Co "B"] (PS), passed away August 27, 2007 in Cathedral City, CA. In 1993, Geoff was one of the founding members of the Golden Gate-Bay Area Chapter. He enlisted in the 14th Engineers BN (PS) in March, 1941 as a machine gunner and was a Bataan Death March survivor. Following WWII, he continued in the U.S. Army and served in the Korea War before retiring in 1961.
His military decorations included a Bronze Star, Purple Heart, POW Medal, American Defense Service Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, WWII Victory Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, Philippine Defense Medal, Philippine Liberation Medal, Presidential Unit Emblem, and Philippine Republic Citation.
Geoffray Dumaguit is survived by Alicia Tejada Dumaguit, his wife for 57 years, sons Geoffray Jr., Gerald and George, daughter Grace; and two grandsons.
First Lieutenant Jose S. Aquino
Jose "Joe" S. Aquino Born September 10, 1916 in Pagasinan Province, passed away in San Francisco, CA, on August 24, 2007, of congestive heart failure. He was pre-deceased by four months by his wife of 69 years, Soledad Aquino; and his son Fred Aquino who passed away in 1971. He is survived by his siblings, Teresita Mejia and Benjamin Aquino; and by his remaining two sons, Renato and Robert Aquino; daughters-in-law, Lavinia R. Aquino and Teresita T. Aquino; and many grandchildren and their families.
A highly decorated veteran of WWII, Joe had an extensive military history. He enlisted on February 4, 1935 with the 92nd Coast Artillery Corps (Philippine Scouts), a component of the United States Army, Lt Fort Mills, Corregidor. He was taken prisoner by the Japanese Imperial Army Forces after the fall of Corregidor and remained on POW-MIA status for almost three years, during which he surreptitiously joined President Quezon's Guerilla Army. After reporting back to the U.S. Army in March 1945, he was commissioned as 2nd lieutenant, Military Police Corps, and was promoted to 1st lieutenant. He was released from active duty on April 1, 1949 for the purpose of enlisting as master sergeant, regular army, but he remained on continuous active federal military service for almost 27 years, retiring as master sergeant (E8) from the 163rd Military Police Company, Presidio of San Francisco, after which he was advanced to the retired grade of 1st lieutenant, USA. Among his decorations received were: the American Defense Service Medal with one Bronze Star; the Asiatic-Pacific Theater Medal with one Bronze Star; the Philippine Defense Ribbon with one Bronze Star; the Philippine Liberation Ribbon with one Bronze Star; the Distinguished Unit Badge with two Oak-Leaf Clusters; the World War II Victory Medal; the Army of Occupation Medal (Japan); the National Defense Service Medal; and the POW Medal.
He was president of the national Philippine Scouts Heritage Society from 1996-2001, as well as a founding member of the Golden Gate-Bay Area Chapter of the Philippine Scouts Heritage Society. He was a life member of the Retired Officers Association, American Legion Post No. 1, American Ex-Prisoners of War, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, and the American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor.
Col. Daniel Laureta Ledda
Daniel Laureta Ledda, a retired United States Army Colonel and highly decorated veteran of WorId War II and the Korean and Vietnam Wars, passed away in his sleep on August 10, 2007 in Sacramento, California at the age of 88. Col. Ledda was born in the town of Balaoan, La Union in the Philippines in 1919 and raised in Tondo, Manila. He graduated from the prestigious Philippine Military Academy in 1942. As a company commander on Bataan, the young captain led his mounted cavalry troop in a counter attack against the Japanese forcing them into a rare retreat. During the assault Captain Ledda received life threatening injuries from a hand grenade, shrapnel from which he carried to the end of his life. Recovering, he returned to battle, but with the surrender of the American Armed Forces was among the approximate 75,000 prisoners of war who were forced to make the infamous Bataan Death March. Almost half the Filipino POWs did not survive the March and their subsequent incarcerations in POW camps. He was released because of serious medical problems, but upon his recovery joined the underground and participated in resistance activities against the Japanese until the Philippines was liberated. For his many acts of heroism during World War II, he was awarded the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Silver Star, and later received the United States Army Commendation Medal and the Joint United States Armed Forces Commendation Medal.
Daniel Ledda was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army’s 12th Infantry Division (PS), newly created following WWII. He continued his 30-year Army career until his retirement in 1974 after becoming the first Filipino-born American to attain the rank of full colonel. He settled in Santa Maria, California with his wife Cresenciana Lallana Ledda to whom he was married for almost 57 years until her death in 1998. In 2005, he moved to Sacramento to be near his son Derek, with whom he resided until his death.
Col. (Ret) Melvin H Rosen
Col. Melvin Herbert Rosen was born in Gloucester, Massachusetts in 1918, the son of Russian immigrants who met and married in the U.S. The many relatives the left behind in what became Poland after WWII, perished in the Holocaust. He passed away on August 1, 2007 at his home in Falls Church, Virginia.
In high school, Mel graduated as Captain of the Junior ROTC and class valedictorian. First attending MIT on a full scholarship, he transferred to West Point where he graduated in 1940.
Upon graduation, Lieutenant Rosen was assigned to the 88th Field Artillery (PS) at Fort Stotsenburg, Philippines. He correctly predicted that the Japanese would first attack the U.S. and then the Philippines. However, he incorrectly believed this would mean that the U.S. would provide those serving in the Philippines with the best armaments in its arsenal. Upon arrival he found magnificent Philippine Scout soldiers using WWI and pre WWI equipment.
The Philippines was attacked within hours of Pearl Harbor. Eleven days later, Mel was promoted to Captain on the first battlefield promotion list of WWII. He later received command of the battery and fought with it until Bataan was surrendered on April 9, 1942. He survived the Bataan Death March, three Hell Ships and three and a half years of Japanese prison camps. By January, 1945, Mel weighed 88 pounds. He was finally liberated from Inchon, Korea in September, 1945.
While on leave from a military hospital, he met Olive Oppenheim, who he eventually married. They celebrated their sixtieth wedding anniversary in March.
Mel retired from active duty in December, 1970, having been awarded the Silver Star, Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, Bronze Star, Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Commendation Medal and numerous other service medals. In December, 1990, the King of Norway awarded the Saint Olav Medal to both Mel and Olive. The medal is the highest given by the King to non-Norwegians.
On August 5 approximately 125 attended a memorial service held at the Ft. Belvoir, Virginia post chapel. This is where the Rosen family attended Jewish services since Mel helped found the congregation in 1961. He is survived by his wife Olive, son David (daughter-in-law Jeanette), daughter Barbara (son-in-law Dr. Gregg Powell) and four grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
Norberto Morana Zabala
Norberto "Ben" Morana Zabala, Sr. died July 23, 2007 at age 98. Born April 16, 1909 in Tolosa, Leyte, Philippines and a resident of San Francisco since 1953, Ben was very proud of his service in the 92nd Coast Artillery (PS) during WWII. He received the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart for his WWII service and was a POW following the surrender of USAFFE. Following a post-war career with the U.S. Army, Ben worked for Northwest Airlines in Shemya, Alaska before moving to San Francisco where he worked in civil service for 35 years. He was a long-time member of the Philippine Scouts Heritage Society, Golden Gate Bay Area Chapter and the Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor.
Ben was predeceased by his wife of 50 years, Enrica Abando Zabala and is survived by sons Norberto Zabala Jr. and Felix Zabala; and daughters Norma Zabala, Rosario Velasquez, and Gloria Washington, as well as thirteen grandchildren and nine great grandchildren. Memorial condolences may be offered at www.vmpandco.com.
Major Prospero Q. Ringor
Major Prospero Q. Ringor, who served with Co. L, 57th Infantry (PS) during WWII, passed away March 12, 2007 of an aortic aneurysm.
He enlisted on Feb. 24, 1941 and discharged on Dec. 29, 1945. He went to a Troop School and graduated in 1959, but this was when he was back in the Philippine Army after the war. He retired from the military in 1963.
Major Ringor fought in Bataan but was stationed in Pangasinan for most of his years with the USAFFE. He was awarded a Purple Heart, a Bronze Service Star, an American Defense Ribbon, a Philippine Defense Ribbon, Two Oak Leaf with clusters and a World War II Victory Medal.
He is survived by his wife Lydia Castro Ringor and grandchildren Shanti and Dino. His son passed away sixteen years ago. Surviving family members all live in the Philippines. His remains are buried in his hometown in San Fabian, Pangasinan, Philippines.
Paulino S. Respicio, who served from 1942-1946 in the Philippine Scouts, passed away after a lengthy illness at home in Tujunga California on 15 July 2006 at the age of 86. A veteran of WWII, he survived the infamous Bataan Death March and Japanese POW camp. He enlisted on 15 March, 1942 and was honorably discharged 15 August 1946. Paulino served in the Co. E, 57th Infantry Regiment (Philippine Scout). Following the surrender of Fil-Am forces, he joined the guerrillas and became a POW. Discharged shortly following the war, he immigrated to the United States. Among his many military honors were the Combat Infantry Badge, Bronze Star (2wd) and the POW medal. He is survived by his wife, two sons and three daughters.
Golden Gate-Bay Area Chapter member and former Philippine Scout Feliseo Cabaddu passed away on May 5, 2006. Mr. Cabaddu was a "New" Scout, who enlisted in 1946 and was discharged in 1949, having served in a PS medical support unit. He joined the PSHS in 1997 and was National Treasurer of the Philippine Scouts Heritage Society for four years, stepping down in 2002. His widow, Virginia L. Cabaddu, lives in Pittsburg, California.
Lt. Col. Mariano Villarin
Retired Philippine Scout Mariano Villarin passed away from natural causes at 92 on February 3, 2006 in Long Beach, California. Born in Manila, he graduated from Far Eastern University there with a degree in business administration. A veteran of WWII, he survived the Bataan Death March and POW camp, finally retiring from the U.S. Army Reserve in 1975 as a lieutenant colonel. Among his many military honors were the Bronze Star and the POW medal.
After his retirement, Lt. Col. Villarin, by then a U.S. citizen, became a federal auditor. In 1980 he moved from Minnesota to California and began working on his memoirs. Lt. Col. Villarin was perhaps best known as author of the book "We Remember Bataan and Corregidor". He belonged to many veterans' organizations, including the Philippine Scouts Heritage Society and the American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor. He also was a witness for the prosecution in the post-WWII trial of one of several women broadcasting Japanese wartime propaganda and known to U.S. servicemen in the Pacific as "Tokyo Rose".
Lt. Col. Villarin is survived by three children, Corinne, Larry and Jeanette and two grandchildren, Aaron and Rachel. His wife Margarett predeceased him in 2003.
Lt. Col. James Kellum "Jake" Levie, Jr.
Lt. Col. James Kellum "Jake" Levie, Jr., who served as a lieutenant in the 12th Signal Company (PS) during WWII, passed away from pneumonia at the age of 90 on March 3, 2006 in LaFayette, Georgia.
Originally from Atlanta, his later childhood was spent in Korea where his parents served as dental missionaries. In 1939, after studying electrical engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology, he entered active duty in the U.S. Army Signal Corps, volunteering for duty in the Philippines.
In the early days of WWII, as the Japanese forces approached the Bataan Peninsula, Lt. Levie's unit covered the withdrawal of the Division. Upon the withdrawal, Lt. Levie remained behind to salvage valuable signals equipment. For his "conspicuous bravery and inspiring leadership," he was awarded the Silver Star.
After the surrender of the American forces in April 1942, Lt. Levie survived the Bataan Death March. He was transported to the P.O.W. camp in Mukden, Manchuria, where he was appointed Protestant chaplain and performed burial services for more than 500 men. When the P.O.W. camp was liberated by Soviet troops in 1945, the Soviet commander put Lt. Levie in charge, and the Japanese commandant surrendered his sword and his command to Lt. Levie.
After the war, he transferred to Army Counterintelligence. In 1959, he retired from the Army as a Lieutenant Colonel and joined the National Aeronautics and Space Administration at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. He worked there until 1986, rising to the position of Chief of Security.
Lt. Col. Levie was predeceased in 2005 by Avis, his wife of 64 years. He is survived by three children, five grandchildren, two brothers and a sister. He was buried in Chattanooga National Cemetery with full military honors and with the Silver Star that he won in the Bataan Campaign.
Last modified: 17-Nov-2013